Social Enterprise Spotlight – Somewhere
Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Kathryn Pierce from Somewhere.
Somewhere provides an inspiring, celebratory and transformational platform for LGBT+ people and their communities.
Read and share their Q&A interview below!
What’s your social and/or environmental mission
Somewhere exists as a creative and connective social business, designed to champion and celebrate queer authentic culture and enterprise. We believe that in providing a positive platform for LGBTQ+ creatives and businesses to share their stories and achievements, our activities increase both community wellbeing and visibility of LGBTQ+ lives and experiences, making the queer more everyday.
How do you do it? (client group, practical daily work, customers etc)
My co-Director Thomas Anderson-Thatcher and I produce “Somewhere: For Us”, Scotland’s award-winning LGBTQ+ printed and digital magazine (released quarterly), with a sister Somewhere: For Us podcast, produced and presented by co-Director Jules Stapleton Barnes. We also founded Scotland’s first Rainbow Enterprise Network connecting up LGBTQ+ businesses with each other and with allies for the first time. We are also very passionate about working with higher educational institutions, having co-created the Somewhere MBA LGBT+ Scholarship and a Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Edinburgh.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
I am very purpose-driven and believe very passionately in creating opportunities for other LGBTQ+ people. As a neurodivergent person, I also conceptualise things in a way that means I am good at opportunity recognition – my thinking works on a different operating system to how much of the world is built. Being able to express my own desire to disrupt and innovate has culminated in Somewhere which, through the collective hard work of the Directors, continues to evolve and expand, inviting and including as many people as we can along the way.
What are your current projects?
We are just about to launch Issue Eight of our Somewhere: For Us magazine, which is a very special Year of Stories edition, celebrating queer stories from Scotland, past and present. We are also distributing the first of our community-led funds, raised from 20% of our magazine and business network membership income, and we have just chosen the Somewhere MBA LGBT+ Scholarship awardee for the forthcoming academic year.
What exciting things do you have coming up?
We are a very active organisation, even though we are such a small team. There’s always so much going on! Each of our magazines has a unique cover illustration, commissioned by us, and we’re especially excited about sharing our Year of Stories cover with as many people and places as we can throughout August and September. We are also a Strategic Partner to the Fringe Society, we lead on LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and we will soon be releasing our very special Somewhere: At The Fringe Guide for 2022, to coincide with the start of the Festival.
Who do you want to work with more?
We are always looking to connect with more LGBTQ+ creatives and businesses across Scotland and with each magazine release and each social media post, we are making more and more friends and colleagues. At the moment we have one collaboration issue per annual magazine cycle but that may increase. We particularly loved working with Beano Studios for our Issue 2 in February 2021 and we would love to work with them more in the future. We had such a blast.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Capacity is the toughest part of being a start-up. It is easy to have lots of wonderful ideas (the fun part), but without capacity it is impossible to implement many (the less fun part). While we head towards financial sustainability, inevitably we are grant reliant, which is hard work too – funding applications are challenging. That said, we have also been lucky to achieve so much success with such restraints, and a lot of that is down to the LGBTQ+ community embracing our work so wholeheartedly.
What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
I would always ask the main driver of the organisation what they really care about right now, and what they will always care about, and to stay as close to that as possible. Building a social enterprise is frustrating and magical and important and exhausting. You can get lost in the detail. I would say to keep focused on what really matters and do what you do really well. On days where things are tough, I remember the email from the parent with a trans child thanking us for what we are doing, I remember the email from the reader who left the magazine on the table at home and started that tough conversation with their parent. I remember the young man who was awarded our Scholarship and who came over from China, able to live authentically in Scotland for the first time as a gay person. Connecting to these things and staying connected is what makes social enterprise stand out like no other kind of business in the world.
Find out more about Somewhere: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter